The lines between the Clinton Foundation and the Hillary Clinton-run state department are getting blurrier every day. Emails obtained by the Washington Examiner reveal that the Clinton Foundation was pushing for a relationship with Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg at the same time Vekselberg was running a key part of the “Russian reset” which was the responsibility of Hillary Clinton’s State Department.
Last month we detailed a report by Peter Schweizer released in a report called “From Russia With Money,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton oversaw “a major technology transfer initiative” that “may have substantially undermined U.S. national security.” Coincidentally (if you believe in coincidences) the Clinton Family enriched themselves out of the deal. This was all part of the failed Clinton effort to improve relations with Russia that began with presenting Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov with a button she thought said “reset” in Russian, but it actually said “overcharged.”
Mr. Schweitzer revealed that a key program of the “reset” was to help Russia develop its own version of Silicon Valley. Called “Skolkovo” and located near Moscow, it housed technology for developing biomed, space, nuclear and IT technologies.
On first glance the project itself seemed benign and possibly a good deal for both sides, the Russians get access to American cash and some of the country’s best technology, the U.S.-based companies, gets access to the Russian market, receive special tax status and “special access to research in Russia. For example, one investment firm received “priority access to the database of the Skolkovo Foundation projects and companies, enabling it to select the most promising projects early in their development.” On the other hand, there are warnings from the FBI that and within Ms. Clinton’s own state department at the time that Skolkovo may have created a for Russia a legal way to gain access to America’s classified technology, the kind of access they used to use espionage to access.
At the time we learned that Skolkovo Foundation chief and billionaire Putin confidant Viktor Vekselberg was a donor. Vekselberg’s Renova Group has donated between $50,000 and $100,000 to the Clinton Foundation, donor records show. Another firm associated with Vekselberg, OC Oerlikon, donated $25,000 to the Clinton Foundation.
Now emails obtained by the Washington Examiner reveal that Clinton Foundation staff pushed Hillary’s State Department to approve a meeting between Bubba Clinton and Vekselberg at the same time the State Dept. was lining up investors for Vekselberg’s Skolkovo project.
The Clintons’ relationship with Viktor Vekselberg, the billionaire whose name appears in the documents, has taken on new significance amid an expanding criminal investigation into his company. Last week, authorities raided the offices of Vekselberg’s firm, Renova Group, following allegations of bribery from several of Renova’s subsidiaries.
The emails reveal another case of “blurred lines” between Hillary’s State Department and the Bubba Clinton run foundation.
The Examiner reports that starting in 5/2010 a Clinton Foundation employee, Amitabh Desai, who acted as a frequent to the State Department on behalf the former president asked officials at state if they had objections to the former Bubba’s plan to meet with a handful of Russian executives on an upcoming trip through the country. One of the executives named was Viktor Vekselberg.
After receiving no reply, Desai asked senior members of Hillary Clinton’s staff again 10 days later for their thoughts on Bill Clinton’s proposed meetings. On June 3, 2010, Desai said he and the former president “urgently need feedback” about what he had described as a “possible trip to Russia.”
Finally, after Desai entreated the State Department for a response to the list of names for the fourth time on June 7, 2010, Jake Sullivan, a top aide to Hillary Clinton, forwarded the request to another State Department official and asked: “What’s the deal [with] this?”
In April of that year, Bill Clinton’s staff had submitted to the State Department ethics office a request for the former president to deliver a paid speech for a half million dollars. The speech would be delivered in Moscow on June 28, 2010 to Renaissance Capital, an engagement that necessitated the trip to Russia that Desai described. The State Department had given its approval for the trip just two days after Bill Clinton’s office filed its request.
According to leaked documents obtained by Mr. Schweitzer “U.S. State Department officials beginning in 2009 played a substantial role in assisting Russian government entities in accessing U.S. capital and in seeking investments in U.S. high technology companies.”
The former president’s travel to Russia for the speech and potential meetings with Vekselberg and others came at the same time the State Dept. was helping Vekselberg with his Silicon Valley-like project, Skolkovo.
So where does it all fit together?
As revealed above, Hillary Clinton and the state department was “tasked with finding companies to invest in and work with Skolkovo in the early months of her tenure.”
Four days after Hillary Clinton met with then-Russian President Dmitri Medvedev in March 2010, Medvedev announced that Vekselberg would head up the Skolkovo project.
Just one day after Hillary Clinton had a private phone call with John Chambers, CEO of Cisco, Medvedev met with Cisco executives in California. That same day, Vekselberg announced that Cisco and Boeing would invest in Skolkovo.
Both Cisco and Boeing are major Clinton Foundation donors. Cisco paid Bill Clinton $256,000 for a speech in Oct. 2010, just three months after Vekselberg’s announcement that the firm would invest $1 billion in Skolkovo.
Per the Citizens United emails, in 2012 when Hillary was still running State, the Clinton Foundation’s Mr. Desai asked members of Hillary Clinton’s staff if they had “concerns” about Vekselberg attendance at an upcoming Clinton Global Initiative meeting. At the time Vekselberg was still working with State finding investors for the Skolkovo project.
Vekselberg was reportedly questioned a year later during a 2013 investigation of alleged corruption within Skolkovo.
Russian security officials raided the Moscow offices of Renova last week amid “allegations that executives in firms controlled by Vekselberg had bribed regional officials,” according to a Reuters report.
The new emails come as Hillary Clinton struggles to reconcile her claim that the Clinton Foundation posed no conflicts of interest for her family while she served as secretary of state with her pledge to eliminate foreign and corporate donations to the charity if she wins the presidency.
And don’t forget Hillary has made Trump’s receptiveness to Putin’s complements an issue in the campaign, but this shows that the Clinton foundation relationship with Vekselberg was at best a conflict of interests with Hillary’s job at the State Dept.
Kind of makes one wonder if there are some Clinton Foundation/State Dept./Vekselberg emails in the thousands described by the FBI as being erased AFTER they were subpoenaed by Congress.